Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Winnowing

Lately I've started writing a blog post or some stuff for my 'other' book a few times only to have it all sort of a very patterned way.  Has that ever happened to you?  I get it now though, so it's not a failure, really.

I've set out to write about things external to myself in each of these instances of subsequently abandoned writing, but each time been led back as if in a circular corral to the simple truth that it's me I'm speaking about.  And that I'm just being coy and overly concerned about perceptions of egoism/narcissism etc.  But everyone who ever writes knowing there's an audience there is writing about themselves all the time, aren't they, so how about I just get over that, eh?

To the subject at hand then.

There's a winnowing going on.  As we toss the unhulled grains up into the air for the simple power of the wind to remove the chaff and leave us the shiny pearls of goodsome sustenance behind, so it is happening with things in my life, at quite a pace, at the moment.  Of course when something's going on for us we see the pattern reflected everywhere (some say we create the pattern everywhere, or co-create it with Other forces and factors in play) and that's in large part why I kept setting out to expound on the things I'm seeing beyond my ostensible sphere of influence.  There's more to say about what we see outside than in.  Both perspectives serve a purpose, but without the foundational acknowledgement that it's what is going on inside that counts, nothing I say will ring with any truth.

All that being said, there's a lot of this winnowing going around right now.

Being a pattern, it affects all of me, all of my life, and it's wonderful when I can have these moments of stepping back and just observing how it affects each facet of being in different ways.  Getting out of the road is also the essence of winnowing well too, isn't it?  Offering up the harvest to the sky, over and over again, that the chaff might blow away and back to earth, thence to return to the great cycle of life, etcetera.  No point just throwing it all over yourself, and you'll never get far fast by getting all dainty and hand-picking out the grains.  Which doesn't stop so many of us from taking that exact approach to change in our life so much of the time.  Little steps, done without reliquishing of control or trust in the wind to know what's chaff, what's grain, and to work with our intentions.

One of the things that winnowed out for me is the ancient wrestle about what can be known anyway - the limits of my ability to be sure about anything, which relates directly to this question of what is inside, and what is outside, and if there's any difference.  Because the grain that's left behind for me is that there truly is no difference.  Making a distinction between what is me and what is not is just something useful we can do with our minds to achieve certain things, but that being totally in thrall to either the separation of us and other, or to the wrestle with how much it's possible to prove one way or another, is just a really fraught and distracted, unsatisfying way to live.  Well, you realise it is once you've had an actual experience of living without that question.

I was joined up to this online Philosophy Debate Group in Facebook you see, by a relatively new FB friend, and this after reconnecting with a wonderful old friend who's really into such stuff (PhD and all), and going on this ultimately madcap ride, a fast-track helter-skelter relentless, strapped-in-tight experience of the Philosophical Lines Of Argument And Inquiry.  Of course, I'd been that way inclined all my life, but this was a nutshelling of the process.  And in the course of a week, with the help of some 'others' I saw the whole thing, the entire intellectual framework of inquiry into life and meaning and the search for Truth and God and Ethics, laid out cleanly in my mind.  And saw its ultimate futility.  A bit of a samadhi moment, that was.

Those who read here regularly or at least lately will have seen this winnowing at work in the world of my people connections too.  You'll recall a couple of weeks ago my tale of discovery about discernment vs. discompassion and the difficulty I had with a relationship with a mentally ill person (for want of a more nuanced description).  Well the process I saw going on then has continued unabated, and I've seen it at work in many of those around me too.  Quite a rash of people doing things like discussing Facebook de-friending, leaving FB and social networking in general, and dealing with issues about who comes into their lives and who needs to be left behind now.  The support groups and boards I belong to have subtly but tangibly shifted in vibe as well (and this can't be 'all me' surely).  The tenor, tone, and actual, as opposed to ostensible, purpose has changed.

Yes, but changed how?  What's going on?  Hard to hit my head on the nail with this one, but it has a flavour of letting go of over-caring.  There seems in the wind - and we're even seeing it in global politics and such - a growing acceptance that only so much can be done to enact change.  That we're not omnipotent.  That we really can't save others, or even help them sometimes.  That waking up to the new zeitgeist (a-ha! That's what I'm on about!) is the responsibility of the individual.  Not that there's any great lack of caring, far from it.  Just that there's a new and seemingly beyond-the-point-of-no-return level of understanding that suffering cannot always be averted, and that a way of being - individually or as a social whole - that is as afraid of suffering and the 'negative' as we all have been this last few generations is not just futile but is itself prone only to create further suffering in the long run.

What I'm seeing is people waking up, more and more.  And I'm so totally not being elitist at all here, or making any special claims on my own profundity or enlightenment relative to anyone else's.  Only to how I was just a couple of weeks ago.  I figure it's a good sign when you can honestly keep saying to yourself "geez, I'm amazed at how stupid I was only two weeks ago!" and smile.

Anyway, whatever I can say about it all in generalities and through resorting to prosiness can only mean so much.  Maybe better to stick to what it means in 3D and Heartland for me.

It means I'm defriending a bunch of folk in Facebook, which is a trivial gesture but important for starters.  I'm not outright leaving the social networks at this point, in fact I've half-migrated over to Google+ now.  I'll be much less active there from now on though, and am treating the world of people interactions much differently already.  Winnowing out the whole intellectual need thing (even allowing for predictable backslide due to ingrained habit and the occasional primacy of the Dumb Machine Mind) has set me free of much of the need I had.  I'll still stay involved with the BD and other tubie help groups, because I like to help there and I always learn much too.

And it means I've found the way back in to writing what I want to write.  It feels like I had to get something out of the way.  I have no expectation that it'll suddenly be easy, but there's a soft and refreshing light on the path ahead now, not just spooky oppressive shadows with the faint glimmer of a glittering thing out there, probably, somewhere.

Perhaps most fundamentally, and this realisation came last of all, as almost an afterthought, a surprise bonus extra, it means I have found (INSERT FREAKY CO-INCIDENCE HERE wow, I'd tell you about this thing that just happened as I am writing this but I can't, so sorry, other people's privacy and all that) a new level of peace not just with my upcoming death (the satellite obviously missed, haha, never mind ;-) but with my ongoing life - suffering and all.  I feel OK with it in a whole new way, and you regular readers will know I was going through a wrestle with that not long ago,the ironic fear not of dying but of living.  Again, not expecting it to be all easy, but some whole layer of fear and harshness has lifted.

The take-home message from this, I guess, is if you see me around a bit less, this is why.  It's no bad thing.  If you want to hang out with me some more, make a new or more intimate connection, sure - just email me or something.  That would suit me fine.  And my funeral fund is still going, and growing too.  We're past half way now, and you can still help me on my way with my natural interrment.  Since that satellite window passed uneventfully, I still have no date.  Thing is, now I'm in a place where I could accept a date so much more easily. In a way, I'm sort of......ready.

Link's here, thank you.


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